Android Police

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Play Books v3.8 Brings A New Search Bar, New Book Notifications For Favorite Authors, Performance Improvements, And Much More [APK Download]

This is certainly a week for updates. Between the latest dev preview for Android N, the rest of the April security updates, and a decent stack of apps from Google, things have been really busy. Play Books joins the lineup, bringing with it a number of visual and functional changes. Of course there is a new icon to join the rebranding effort, but it also includes some updates to the search bar, the reading experience, and more. As always, we've got a link to the download at the bottom.

What's New

Many thanks to the Play Books team for providing a very thorough changelog!

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Google Announces Custom 'Live Cases' For Nexus 6, 5X, And 6P—Previously Leaked As Google Workshop

You might vaguely recall an exclusive post on AP a few years back about "Google Workshop." It was to be an online tool for creating custom cases for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013). Oh, those were the days. Well, it turns out Google Workshop is real, but they're called Live Cases now. You can pick up your very own custom Live Case for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, or Nexus 6P with a photo or stylized Maps screenshot for $35.

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[Specs Comparison] The Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, LG G5, And HTC 10

There are a TON of Android phone manufactures in the world. Yet, here in the US, only three have wide enough appeal to have their flagship devices sold by all 4 major US carriers (well, in HTC's case 3 out of 4). Those manufacturers are, of course, Samsung, LG, and HTC. Now that their 2016 flagships, the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, LG G5, & HTC 10 have all been announced, many of you will be tasked with the unenviable mission of deciding which of these three devices will be your next phone.

To help you with that decision, I've prepared a comparative spec chart so you can see how these three devices measure up to one another.

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Samsung Posts Patch Notes For Its March And April Monthly Security Updates For 'Major Flagship Models'

In a perfect world, every manufacturer would update all of its Android phones and tablets every single time Google posted an update to AOSP. We don't live in that perfect world, but at least some of them have paid lip service to the new monthly security updates that Google has been issuing for the last eight months or so. Samsung is one of them... as long as the definition of "monthly" is stretched to something like "eventually." The company posted March's security update notes yesterday (on April 13th) and followed up with the April notes almost immediately.

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Samsung Offering $30 Gift Card If You Start Using Samsung Pay Between April 15 And May 10

Samsung really, really wants you to use Samsung Pay if you've one of its newer phones. The best way to do that is to give away free money, so that's what Samsung is doing. Samsung previously offered a $30 gift card when you used Samsung Pay on a Galaxy S7, and now there's a slightly different version of that program targeted at people who haven't started using it yet.

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Crazy-Hard Platformer 'Super Meat Boy' And Multiplayer Dodgeball Game 'Stikbold' Come To The SHIELD Android TV

In a continuing attempt to establish its SHIELD hardware as a platform all its own, NVIDIA keeps securing exclusive games from indie developers. Today we get two, count 'em, two games that have become favorites on Steam and other download services: Super Meat Boy and Stikbold! The former is an old-school platformer with wicked difficulty and a biting sense of humor, and the latter is a 3D reinterpretation of retro games like Super Dodge Ball. Super Meat Boy costs a hefty $15 and it's available for the SHIELD TV and SHIELD Tablet, but Stikbold! ($10) is only for the Android TV hardware.

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CyanogenMod 13 Nightlies Come To The Moto MAXX, T-Mobile Galaxy S4, Verizon Galaxy S5, And GSM/WiFi Galaxy Note 8.0

Over the past week, CyanogenMod 13 nightlies have been released for several Android phones and tablets, breathing new life into what can be now considered old hardware. Most of the devices had CM12.1 prior, meaning that the jump they're witnessing is just from Lollipop 5.1 to Marshmallow 6.0, but the Verizon Galaxy S5 never had CM12, it was on CM 11 (KitKat) prior to this update. That must feel like a quantum leap.

Alright, now to the meat of the matter. The devices with new CM13 nightlies are:

  • Motorola Moto Maxx "quark"
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (T-Mobile) "jfltetmo"
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (Verizon) "kltevzw"
  • Galaxy Note 8 (GSM) "n5100"
  • Galaxy Note 8 (Wi-Fi) "n5110."

These being nightlies, expect bugs and instability so you may be better off flashing them on devices that aren't your daily drivers.

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Google Photos v1.18 Adds Manual Backup For Local Photos And Video [APK Download]

Cloud storage is probably the greatest thing to happen to casual photography since manufacturers started putting decent shooters into smartphones. There's nothing like snapping a couple of group shots and throwing them up on Google Photos without the hassle of hooking a computer to a phone just to move them over first. The catch is that most of us choose not to sync pictures over cellular, instead waiting to get back within reach of Wi-Fi so our data plans don't feel too much abuse. However, there are times you still need to back up a few shots right away, and that's where the latest Google Photos update comes in.

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Vine Update Lets You Watch An Entire Channel With One Tap

I am no Vine watcher, but I've heard that there's a lot of cool content on the social network especially if you figure out which users are the most interesting to follow. Lots of creative people have found their niche within the constraints of its short video format and that's what everyone who's sticking around likes about it.

Now Vine is getting updated on Android to allow you, the spectator, to watch an entire channel from start to finish with a single button instead of manually moving from one video to the next. The option is visible in the latest version of the app when you open a channel: there's a new Watch button next to the Follow one.

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Google Launcher On Android N Dev Preview 2 Lets You Set Different Wallpapers For Homescreen And Lockscreen

It's something custom ROMs have been able to do for years, but has never found its way into stock Android. Well, the second Android N dev preview changes that: Home screen and lock screen wallpapers can now be different, if you so choose.

When a wallpaper is set, it now asks if you'd like to apply the wallpaper on your Home screen, Lock screen, or both. Interestingly, while there aren't any stock live wallpapers in N Dev Preview 2 (live wallpapers are still supported, there's just not any preloaded), live wallpapers are not able to be set as just a lock screen wallpaper.

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